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SAT and PSAT Fast Facts

American School Counselor AssociationBrought to you by the American School Counselor Association

These pointers will help you and your teen wade through the alphabet soup of admissions tests.

  • The two major college admissions tests are the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) developed for the College Board by Educational Testing Service, and the American College Testing Program Assessment (ACT). Students may want to take both examinations in order to increase their flexibility in applying to college. Some colleges will accept the score from either test; other colleges will require one or the other.

  • Students should take the SAT or ACT test at least once in the junior year. Ask the school or the Education Specialist in your Urban League affiliate for information on fee waivers.

  • The PSAT, or Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test, is often called the practice SAT. It is taken in the 10th & 11th grades. The PSAT gives an idea of how students are likely to perform on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). There is a PACT+ or a Preliminary American College Testing Program Assessment, as well.

  • The PSAT serves two important functions in its own right. First, PSAT scores and grades are used to identify students who will receive National Negro Merit Scholarship and scholarships from the National Hispanic Scholars Awards Program. Second, they are used, along with other criteria, to qualify students who wish to be considered for appointment to military academies.

  • Results of standardized tests such as the SAT can be obtained from the test developer. The answer sheets and booklets are available. Reviewing them will help determine your child's strengths and weakness.

    The addresses of two of the major test developers are:
    College Board Admissions; Testing Program (SAT) C.N. 6200; Princeton, NJ 08541-6200
    American College Testing Program (ACT) P.O. Box 168; Iowa City, IA 52243

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